Today's support for individuals affected by thalidomide

Today, a comprehensive, European-wide financial support network exists for people affected by the thalidomide tragedy.

People affected by thalidomide can still apply for support from the Contergan Foundation which was set up in 1972 and, to date, has paid around 1.4 billion Euros to those affected. Access to payments from the Contergan Foundation is not restricted to those affected who live in Germany or to German nationals. Individuals from all other countries where Grünenthal directly marketed its thalidomide products - or where those products were marketed through a Grünenthal distributor - are also eligible to apply for payments from the Contergan Foundation. At present, beneficiaries from the Contergan Foundation live in 38 different countries. This, for example, includes persons in Spain and Ireland.

The financial support for those recognised as thalidomide-affected people by the Contergan Foundation has recently been increased by the German Federal Government to life-long pension payments with a highest rate of 8,117 euros monthly for some individuals and additionally annual payments between more than 6,000 Euros to more than 17,000 Euros.

Affected individuals in countries where licensees of Grünenthal tested and marketed thalidomide-containing products (for example in the UK) do not receive any payments from the Contergan Foundation. However, separate financial support systems, which provide similar payments, exist in these countries.

In countries where other companies marketed generic products without a license from Grünenthal (for example in Spain and Italy), those affected are supported by their respective governments.

In 2012, Grünenthal founded the Grünenthal Foundation to support people affected by thalidomide. The objective of the Foundation is to advance and develop projects that go beyond the financial support of the Contergan Foundation. The Grünenthal Foundation provides only benefits in kind. Access to support is not limited to German citizens. The Grünenthal Foundation provides services for all people affected by thalidomide, who are already recognized by the Contergan Foundation or similar institutes that use the same assessment criteria.